Brian Charlesworth


1966    BA in Natural Sciences (1st Class Honours), University of Cambridge

1969    PhD in Genetics, University of Cambridge

1969 - 1971    Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Chicago

1971 - 1974    Lecturer in Genetics, University of Liverpool

1974 - 1982    Lecturer in Biology, University of Sussex

1982 - 1984    Reader in Biology, University of Sussex

1985 - 1992    Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago

1992 - 1997    G.W. Beadle Distinguished Service Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago

1997 - 2007    Royal Society Research Professor, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh

2007 - 2010    Professor and Head of Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh

1991    Fellow of the Royal Society

1996    Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1999    President, Society for the Study of Evolution

2000    Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Darwin Medal of the Royal Society

2006    President, Genetics Society (UK), until 2009

2006    Sewall Wright Award, American Society of Naturalists

2007    Frink Award, Zoological Society of London

Undergraduate teaching

Genomes and Genomics (3rd year): 3 lectures

Evolutionary Biology Honours Elective: The Evolution of Sex and Breeding Systems (4 lectures and 2 discussions)

Genetics Honours Elective: Topics in Evolutionary Genomics (4 lectures and 2 discussions)  

Postgraduate teaching

MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis: 13 lectures, 1 tutorial and 3 discussions)

Research summary

My general area of research is in evolutionary genetics, which is concerned with the application of classical and molecular genetics to the study of evolution and natural variation. My group carries out both theoretical and experimental research, using theoretical ideas to motivate the experiments, and experimental data as stimulant for the development of theory. My recent research has focussed on three main areas: molecular evolution and variation, the evolution of genetic and sexual systems, and the quantitative genetics of life-history traits. Each of these areas illuminates the others. I am currently especially interested in the nature of the evolutionary process in genomes or genomic regions with low rates of genetic recombination, and am using theoretical models and studies of DNA sequence evolution and variation to study this problem. I am also interested in the problem of estimating the extent and intensity of selection on non-synonymous, synonymous and non-coding mutations.

Research activities

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View all 78 publications on Research Explorer